Clients. Patients. Supporters. Viewers. Alumni. Consumers. Donors. Everyone has customers, even if you call them something else. Whether you’re at a corporation or non-profit, keeping customers happy should be a critical component of your marketing strategy.
It’s not enough to know your target audiences anymore. It’s critical to understand how each segment of your customer base wants to communicate with you. Do you interact with your clients through social media with brand-appropriate messaging, contests, questions? Have you developed an editorial calendar and are you scheduling your posts at optimum times for your customers? Are you continuing with traditional mailings and events for those who prefer them?
Whether your business has standard Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, a proprietary program, or a simple database, make sure you have a plan in place to stratify your customers so you can strengthen your existing relationships.
Today’s tools make personalizing communications easier. Rather than having a single version of a publication, e-newsletter programs and variable data printing enable each individual to only see articles related to their interests. With clear response mechanisms, customers can easily respond with questions, compliments, and concerns. With technology, sharing and venting is easier than ever before. It’s the extreme interactions that cause people to talk to others — whether it’s to share a wonderful story or to complain about a frustrating experience. That’s why prompt, personal follow-up is more important than ever before.
By understanding what your customers want, offering products or services that specifically meet their needs, and clearly communicating and interacting with them, you demonstrate that you value them. You’re building relationships. In a recent AdAgeDigital article, Cella Irvine, CEO of Vibrant Media emphasized the importance of personalized, innovative communications and engagement. As Irvine stated, “Consumers no longer have patience for advertising that doesn’t inform or delight. They don’t need to.”
If you’re in B2B, are you regularly reading trade publications in your niche areas? Do you occasionally forward a link to an industry article that contains valuable information for your client? Make sure you’re communicating with your top clients several times a year at times and adding value, not just interacting about a project or an order.
Connections & Loyalty in an Age of Information Overload
The tools and tactics for communicating may have changed in recent years, but the critical components of successful marketing remain the same. Personalization may take more time, but staying connected with those who “love you” certainly has many rewards.
Want More Info?
• Join us for “Cutting Through the Clutter” with Xerox CMO Christa Carone.
• For additional ideas on building the love in B2C, check out Entrepreneur.com’s article, 5 Ways to Take Customer Loyalty to the Next Level. http://bit.ly/R0hAfqor Cella Irvine’s complete article at AdAgeDigital. http://bit.ly/NB8WJ1
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Jill Rehak Kemp has over twenty years experience in marketing communications and media relations. Her skills and strategies have been recognized with national awards and utilized by Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and small businesses.